EP 499 Is It Worth Having a Discussion With a Science Denier?

While science denial is a precursor to reality denial on many fronts in our society, it can result in impacts as serious as life and death.  For instance, if enough people don’t get the COVID vaccine, allow it to hang around and mutate, even the vaccinated may be at great risk.  So, while philosopher of science, Lee Mcintyre begins his book, ‘How to Talk to a Science Denier’, at a relatively harmless, yet otherwordly, flat earth convention, he later gets to the serious issue of climate denial, which can’t go on much longer without having even more dreadful impacts than those we are presently experiencing.  And, yet, he tells us it is worth the discomfort of having these conversations, even if we are not scientists ourselves, lest we let misinformation run rampant.  He tells us that science denialism spreads through five techniques.  Most commonly, deniers cherry-pick data and rely on fake experts.  He walks us through these common approaches and encourages us to refute them, respectfully.  It is an important conversation on a subject that will persist in what has become a society distrustful of expertise.